This ad is every bit as painful as running without a bra.





Oh. So, Lonsdale’s doing lingerie now?

That’s what I first thought when they announced their new campaign on instagram recently. There was Annette Melton (stunning model and new Lonsdale ambassador), rolling around seductively on a bed in her underwear. Surely they couldn’t be trying to sell sports clothes? I can’t see a single piece of sportswear. Just a bed, sheets, and a whole lot of skin. Hang on was that a nipple?

The video campaign goes even further, bringing out the scissors to make a few ‘changes’. The T’shirt (which I assume they’re advertising) is cut back to show more breast (no bra, who needs a bra while playing sport? Right?). Then all of a suddenly she’s topless, in her undies with poses more suited to an FHM magazine than an advertising campaign for women’s sports clothes.

This sure ain’t making me rush out and buy any Lonsdale clothes any time soon.

It’s a common question often asked in Women’s sports and fashion. Do you need sex to sell?

The answer was undeniably no when the Women’s Health Magazine decided to have naked body painted models at, ironically, their “I Support Women in Sports Awards” last week.



There was a huge public outrage that the magazine felt they had to ‘sex’ up the awards, when women’s sports have fought so long and hard to be accepted on merit not on sex appeal.

The Roxy Pro got itself into hot water last year without even getting their feet wet. And that was the thing. The campaign was supposed to promote one of the biggest surfing events on the Women’s World Tour, yet failed to show any surfing whatsoever, not a single wave. Instead it had 5 time World Surfing Champion Stephanie Gilmore in a number of sexy and suggestive scenes. Instead of showing the master at work on a wave, the clip suddenly ends as she paddles out, like a film before the final climatic scene. But this doesn’t leave you wanting more, it just leaves you mad.

I’ll let you advertisers and Women’s Health Magazine in on a little secret. Women want to see other sporty women. Athletic, fit, successful, motivated, those who strive to achieve a goal and will do everything they can to get there. Who are these gladiators you may ask? They’re our athletes.

Oiselle is a U.S sportswear brand that caused waves at this year’s New York Fashion Week when they used athletes at their runway show rather than models. Their medals became their comm cards as Olympians, University Champions and marathon runners took to the catwalk. There were no better bodies to show off the clothes than the people who wear them for their intended purpose. They smiled, their thighs touched and they looked beautiful.

Lululemon is another brand that uses real active women in their campaigns. From athletes and yoga instructors to cross fit competitors and healthy mums, Lululemon shows the clothes in the context they’re intended. Women can relate to their campaigns.


The clothes look more appealing because they’re on bodies similar to their own, not a Giselle-like figure that hasn’t eaten a steak in years.

And this ad, from Under Armour, that features Misty Copeland is just about perfect:

Rebel Sport learnt the hard way last year when it announced Kyly Clarke as the new face of the brand. Rebel Sport’s managing director Erica Berchtold told the media at the launch, “It’s about time we had a female ambassador associated with sport”.

It sparked a public furore, anger that Rebel chose to ignore the huge array of incredible female athletes in this country, who are, let’s be honest, the true women in sport. After initially trying to justify their choice, the company has since responded by instating athletes as fellow ambassadors

There are hundreds of great female sports stars, with healthy, athletic, muscly bodies who are screaming out for exposure and sponsorship deals. These women are the real deal, these women make us want to buy their clothes. These are women in sport. Unless you’re selling to men, or teaming up with Victoria’s Secret, your bed rolling, naked teasing, seductive campaigns just don’t make us want to buy your clothes on the way to the gym.

Sex doesn’t sell. Sport sells.

Sam Squiers is a Sports Presenter for Channel 9 and Founder of Women in Sport website You can follow Sportette on twitter and instagram @sportette_au